Join a tour at Gibside

A group on a tour

Gibside’s history is full of fascinating figures, dramatic stories, wonderful achievements and even scandal.

With such a turblulent history, full of twists and turns, there's a lot to say about this 18th century estate. So we're grateful to the knowledgeable and friendly volunteer guides on hand to host regular tours of Gibside.

Tours are on every Friday, Sunday and Monday. On each of those days an 11.30am tour lasts 30 minutes and has a different theme, which will give you a taster of Gibside’s history, followed by a longer 60 minute tour at 1.30pm, where you can find out the whole story.

Once inside the grounds, the tours are free and four-legged friends are welcome too. Please wear sensible walking shoes as there may be some uneven terrain.

11.30am – taster tours - lasting approximately 30 minutes:

Stables – The Bowes family loved their racehorses and built a fine stable to house them, complete with decorative niches for statues. Find out this dramatic building’s story.

Gibside Story – The first recorded mention of Gibside was in the 1200s. Since then it has changed a lot. Hear of Gibside’s birth, rise, demise and protection when the National Trust took over.

George Bowes – “Give me room to make new beauties!” cried George Bowes in 1735. It is this man’s vision that led to the Gibside we see today. Discover his story.

Mary Eleanor – The Countess of Strathmore lived a life of drama, riches, scandal and strife. Hear her moving story and eventual triumph as the first woman to keep her property after divorce.

Chapel – James Paine’s Palladian chapel is a Grade 1 listed building, discover the craftsmanship, beauty and stories behind its design.

Coal – not known as ‘black diamonds’ for nothing! Discover how coal mining changed the face of the North East and its vast profits changed the fate of Gibside.

1.30pm – Intrigue and Strife – lasting approximately 60 minutes

Hear the full story. The volunteer guides are all passionately and personally involved in researching and uncovering Gibside’s history …so no two tours are the same. Each guide will share with you what interests them in particular about Gibside’s scandalous, intruding, moving and turbulent history.

The floor will be open for questions, so if there's anything you're particularly interested in hearing about, you can ask.

Access into the grounds is free for National Trust members, otherwise normal admission charges apply.